Are Tom Brady and Cam Newton judged fairly when compared to one another by New England Patriots fans and abroad?
Of course not. Several members of the media chimed in on the subject, especially after Brady’s poor performance, loss, and behavior after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ loss to the Los Angeles Rams.
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NFL Chime in on Brady’s Refusal to Shake Hands
After games, almost always losses, Brady has refused to shake hands on multiple occasions this season, and notoriously after the team lost Super Bowl LII to the Philadelphia Eagles and Nick Foles. He snubbed Foles again this year after his Bucs were beaten in prime time by the Chicago Bears. This past week, Brady and the Bucs were thoroughly handled by the Los Angeles Rams, and the future Hall-of-Famer didn’t play particularly well with two interceptions.
Brady didn’t bother to shake the Rams’ Jared Goff’s hand after the game. Needless to say, it caught the attention of some members of the media:
Tom Brady doesn’t shake hands: crickets.
If that was Cam Newton: “Breaking News: Newton sore loser” #MNF
— Alyssa Rae (@AlyssaRaeTV) November 24, 2020
If Cam Newton had done this, there would be 1000 articles out this morning talking about how immature he was and how this demonstrates his lack of leadership.
Ridiculous double-standards. https://t.co/yuXPQPswd7
— Falconihilist DW (@FalcoholicDW) November 24, 2020
It doesn’t make much sense to use COVID-19 concerns as an excuse for this lack of sportsmanship. During the offseason, Brady repeatedly disobeyed and disregarded the NFL and local government’s advisory against gatherings while the country struggled with COVID-19 outbreaks. Brady routinely gathered Bucs players for private workouts.
It’s unlikely Brady is suddenly super sensitive about this contact considering he’s been playing an entire football game prior to the moment when the handshake happens. It also doesn’t stand to reason that the only time he ever no-shows the handshake is after a loss.
What Would Happen if Newton Behaved This Way?
Newton is viciously criticized for any and every misstep or perceived inequity his haters can recognize or imagine. Despite no such past reputation with teammates and coaches, those who aspire to disparage Newton’s reputation created a me-first and selfish narrative.
They used this false concept as the power behind a useless argument that suggested Newton wouldn’t fit in with the Patriot way. For a few weeks when Newton was playing well, the talk began to subside. However, unfortunately for Newton, he tested positive for COVID-19, the team hit a snag and the haters are back out in force. Nevermind the fact that Newton has been outplaying the legend in some key areas, and doing it with a far less impressive supporting cast.
NESN’s Doug Kyed wrote:
Newton ranks first in deep passer rating and second in deep adjusted completion percentage in that span of time while Brady ranks 32nd out of 33 QBs in deep adjusted completion percentage and last in deep passer rating. Woof. On the season, Newton is 10-of-16 for 314 yards with a touchdown and interception on deep passes, per PFF. He’s second in adjusted completion percentage and 13th in passer rating. Brady is 18-of-58 for 627 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions on deep passes this season, per PFF. He’s 29th of 36 QBs in adjusted completion percentage and passer rating. It’s, of course, worth noting that Brady has one of the best wide receiving corps in the NFL with Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown at his disposal. Newton has been throwing to Jakobi Meyers, Damiere Byrd, N’Keal Harry and Gunner Olszewski over the last four weeks.
If Newton can endure this criticism and the attacks on his hairstyle and clothing choices while having a pretty strong year statistically–sans the early turnovers–one can only wonder what would happen if the didn’t bother to shake the opposing quarterback’s hand.